We asked. You answered!
West Hollywood’s best dive bar? WeHo’s best sushi restaurant? Our city’s best barbershop, pet boarding place, Pilates studio? These are among the many categories we included on the ballot in August. The online voting turnout was great (and monitored by us geeks to make sure we weren’t being trolled — i.e. Putin didn’t vote, only you did).
We published the results in West Hollywood Magazine, our quarterly print publication, which was out late last week and which you can find in news racks, restaurants and shops around the city. Today we will publish the first of five overall ballot categories, which include Best Beauty & Grooming, Best Dining, Best Fitness, Best Nightlife and Best Pet Supplies & Services. Congratulations to all of the local businesses who won “Best Of” and to those immediate runner ups. We’ll be back next year with even more business categories.
Best of WeHo Dining
Best Burger Joint
7998 Santa Monica Boulevard
Irv’s is a West Hollywood institution. It opened 67 years ago at 8289 Santa Monica Boulevard and has moved around a bit since then. Now the Hong family, which bought it in 2000, operates it at 7998 Santa Monica Boulevard near North Laurel.
While writing for the L.A. Weekly Jonathan Gold, today the noted L.A. Times food critic, called out Irv’s for its hand-cut French fries and double cheeseburgers, pastrami sandwiches and Denver omelets, onion rings and tuna melts.
But as delicious as the food is, Gold noted that part of Irv’s appeal is Sonia Hong, the restaurant’s owner, who he
described as “just totally, manically nice.” Yes, after a couple of visits Sonia will recognize you and likely scrawl one of her happy faces or baby drawings on your takeout bag.
Irv’s is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sundays Hong and her mother take a well-deserved rest.
8731 Santa Monica Boulevard
No. 2 (It’s a tie)
8520 Santa Monica Boulevard
Best Chinese Restaurant
Kung Pao Bistro
7853 Santa Monica Boulevard
The home of the “Robot Chicken,” Kung Pao, which has been around 2001,
specializes in traditional Chinese and Taiwanese dishes but manages to
incorporate some Japanese, Singaporean and American touches.
It was one of the first Asian restaurants to only use Angus steak for its beef dishes. And in only uses Pacific North and South American white shrimp. All of its vegetables are sourced fresh and never frozen.
And that “Robot Chicken”? The
creators of that eponymous comedy TV series named it after a Kung Pao dish after eating there.
Kung Pao is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
8618 Sunset Boulevard
848 North La Cienega Boulevard
Best Mexican Restaurant
616 North Robertson Boulevard
Yes, it’s the food — contemporary Mexican cuisine Tortilla Republic boasts signature dishes like Tacos de Jicama and Duck Confit Enchiladas. It has a gluten free menu (this is WeHo, after all). And the outdoor patio is lovely.
But as attention grabbing as the food is the décor and the staff.
“Each piece of furniture and fixture is custom-made in Mexico and hanging on the walls is contemporary Mexican inspired artwork,” it notes on its website. Tortilla Republic’s website doesn’t call out its servers, but you’ll notice and appreciate them as much for their looks as their service.
Marix Tex Mex
1108 North Flores Street
8935 Santa Monica Boulevard
Best Japanese Restaurant
8163 Santa Monica Blvd.
Omi! Oh my! A sushi restaurant with a happy hour! (That means it’s a sushi restaurant whose owners totally get West Hollywood).
Omi has been around since 2011 and bills itself as “Asian fusion,” which is a way to explain the Las Vegas Roll and the Crazy California Roll.
In addition to its great sushi, it’s known as a place to take a date (hint: the prices are very reasonable). And
it is a gathering spot for those in its
Omi Sushi is open Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m., Sundays from 4 to 9:30 p.m., and Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
8711 Santa Monica Boulevard
No. 2 (It’s a tie)
903 La Cienega Boulevard
8200 Santa Monica Boulevard
Marco and his beloved “mama,” Franca Cappani, opened a small trattoria and pizzeria in West Hollywood in 1993. Marco’s later made a small move across Havenhurst, with the restaurant now anchoring the southwest
corner of Santa Monica Boulevard
and Havenhurst, with room for outdoor dining.
The menu was inspired by Marco’s mother, a native of Italy who had worked at several Italian restaurants. Pizzas with pancetta and pepperoni and the Pizza Mama (white pizza with pesto, chicken and mozzarella) affirm its Italian heritage. And then there are dishes like Pasta and Fagioli soup, Penne alla Arrabbiata and Frutti di Mara. And if a woman with an Italian last name like “Stefani” (first name Gwen) eats there, you know it’s Italiano.
Marco’s is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
8613 Santa Monica Boulevard
846 La Cienega Boulevard
Best Coffee Shop
Verve Coffee Roasters
8925 Melrose Avenue
Yes, Verve stands out for its coffee. But it’s also notable for its design. Commune Design is responsible for that, and it includes a white oak herringbone floor with long copper counter. There’s also a patio outside. You’ll find those tables and chairs occupied by attractive people who, depending on the time of day, are conducting business meetings, just catching up or on dates.
The coffee? Espresso drinks and pour-over coffees as well as cold brews. Verve also offers probiotic drinks and cold-pressed juices.
Verve is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
8565 Melrose Avenue
8766 Holloway Drive
No. 3 (it’s a tie)
8595 Santa Monica Boulevard